Leaving Behind and Carrying Forward

So, here we are on the last day of 2009. New Year's Eve has never been a big thing for me; it's just another night as far as I'm concerned. Tonight, Gerry and I will likely enjoy sitting in the hot tub, perhaps looking at the skies with his new telescope, and I'm sure we'll be fast asleep before the clock strikes twelve.

The message that our pastor gave last Sunday was about things we should leave behind as we move into the new year, and other things we should carry forward. This morning, in a less spiritual vein, I was thinking of some personal things I would like to leave behind as we enter 2010 tomorrow.
  • high cholesterol
  • about "nn" extra pounds
  • sore feet (sorry Val!)
  • hot flashes
  • insomnia
As I look over this list I realize that it's the list of an old woman - a grandmother even! And I realize that it IS the list of a grandmother, and that is the greatest blessing of 2009!

I'll take these things as we move into the new year and I'll try to improve what I can and embrace what I can't.  I'll do my best to carry foward:

  • healthy eating habits
  • commitment to exercise in a way that suits me
  • flat shoes
  • refreshing sleep
  • my memoir
  • new writing goals
And most of all, I'll carry forward being the best wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend that I can be.

And I'll close this year with yet another picture of my beautiful granddaughter!

Have a Happy New Year all!

Raise a Reader

Here is a picture of Makiya on Christmas morning opening one of her Christmas gifts.  Look at the enthusiasm with which she is pulling off the paper!
She is not quite one year old and already showing signs of being a bookworm like her Mom and her Grandma!

Here she is later, still engrossed in her book.

I think that the love of books is one of the best gifts we can give our children and grandchildren, don't you?


So you're back; my on-again off-again nemesis for the past thirty years.  You surprised me this time; I thought that perhaps you had moved on for good. The hints to your imminent return were there, I just chose not to see them.

I am amazed at how quickly you get into my life, how all-encompassing your presence is each time you come back.  You are a worthy adversary to be sure.

Last night I lay awake hour after hour, tossing and turning, bemoaning the fact that you had returned.  Every inch of my body seemed to cry out as witness to your reappearing. 

I will not concede defeat; I will never concede defeat.  Though you are strong, I am stronger.  You may occasionally win a battle, but you will not win the war. I have learned a thing or two about you over the years; I know when to fight and when to sit back and let it appear that you have your own way.

I know your appearance is fleeting and that you will eventually move on; I can be patient.

I'm on to you, Fibromyalgia.

Christmas of Another Kind

It's Christmas Eve day and I am remembering Christmas' past, Christmas' of another kind.

I think it is of utmost importance that we try to keep our focus on the Reason for this season, but we have wrapped so much emotion and hype into the holiday that it's impossible to keep them separate.

While many of you will spend this evening and tomorrow enjoying family, friends, and feasts, it will not be that way for everyone.  Some are grieving the loss of a loved one and trying to get through a first Christmas with out them; some have financial struggles such that there are no gifts under the tree, perhaps there is no tree at all; some are wrapped in clouds of depression and are just holding on until the season passes.

So if you are one of the blessed ones this year, I ask that you remember those who do not count themselves as one of you this year, and do what you can to help who you can and where you can.

Christmas Blessings,

Merry Christmas

As I drive into my neighborhood I am greeted by light. 

The house on the right has woven colored strands of green and red into the tall maple tree at the front.  White icicle lights hang from the inverted V on the top of the house. The house to the left has red and white candy cane lights bordering the front lawn. 

Farther down is a house that is a display of white: white lights in the trees and bushes, white icicles hanging from the eaves, and white lights circling the large wreath above the garage door.

Around the corner is a garish inflated snowman waving as I drive by. In the yard next to that is a train, it's lights sequenced so that it looks like the wheels are turning.

I turn onto our street and each house has lights of some sort - some subtle, some not. In addition to our outside lights, this year we have chosen to put a single candle in every window pane.

I wonder how all of these lights look from high above our little neighborhood.  I hope that they look like a giant cake cake covered in candles. 

We are celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus. 

Merry Christmas, all.


I was in pain yesterday and it got worse as they day went on. By the time I arrived home the pain was so widespread and deep that it was hard to tell where it started and ended. It happens. I took a sleeping pill and went to bed early and this morning, while not completely gone, it's eased. 

A number of years ago I was consumed with pain of another sort. I was in the midst of a deep depression and every waking moment was overshadowed with emotional pain and despair; I was barely able to function. I listened to in those days to an album by Mary Chapin Carpenter that contained a song called This is Love.   That song had a phrase that put into words what I could not speak.  This is the kind of pain from which you don't recover. 

Fast forward to today. I could never have imagined the blessings that were waiting for me just down the road a bit.  It took time, and help, but I did recover from that emotional pain.  Recover, but not forget, because when I remember those dark days I can find hope in any circumstance that I find myself in today.  Whether it be a a bad week, worries about something, or the kind of physical pain that can knock me over, I have learned that in my life there is no pain from which I won't recover in some manner.

And the winner is.....

Thank you to everyone who graciously participated in my informal survey to find out a bit more about who is reading my blog and why.  This information will be helpful as we prepare for the upcoming Stories From The Heart conference. 

A highly scientific method was used to select a name from those who commented (writing your names on pieces of paper, tossing them on the floor, closing my eyes and picking one) and Jeanette, from Audience of One was selected to receive the incentive award!

Jeanette, please select a book from the recent reviews posted at the Story Circle Book Review site with my thanks for participating.  Send me an email with your selection, and I'll get it off to you.

Relocating for Health Reasons

My feet hurt.  Perhaps it's a product of growing older and wearing too many ill-fitting shoes throughout my life, but I am spending more time these days thinking about my feet. 

It started as an occasional bout with something-or-another in the ball of my foot that would cause it to sieze up like an engine without oil.  That pain actually had me remove my shoes in the mall one day and walk stocking footed to my destination.  It's happening more frequently.

I've tried insoles: full insoles, heel insoles, toe insoles, gel insoles, you name it. I'm trying to migrate away from wearing heels but the problem with that is that most of my pants are of the length that require a heel.  Now I'm faced with hemming my pants, NEVER a task that I have enjoyed. And I still need to dress well for work, so I have to find something to wear on my feet that's comfortable yet looks nice.

In the summer months my feet don't hurt.  I usually wear flat sandals or flipflops or, best of all, go barefoot. 

So, now I'm faced with a dilemna: hem my pants or move to Mexico where I can go barefoot all the time.  Tough choice.

Sister Surprise

As an adoptee, I have often speculated about whether who we are is influenced more by the environment we grow up in or our genetic makeup.  This week my mental tally of votes for each court received another vote in the genetic makeup category.

I met my birth-sister Wendy when I was about thirty years old.  She came to my home and we spent that first night sitting up all night talking. I couldn't stop looking at her face that had many similarities to my own.  We learned that we had much in common, and were stunned to learn that we had lived in the same city for a number of years as children, lived just a few blocks apart, and even went to the same school at the same time.  It's very likely that we could have passed each other in the hall or come across each other on the playground.

Over the years both of our lives have taken unexpected twists and turns - some good, many not so good.  We've kept in contact with one another, although sometimes a long time as gone by between phone calls or emails. Every time we connect we immediately pick up where we left off last time though.

As I worked through the last pages of my memoir last weekend, my thoughts turned to my sister and I gave her a call.  We caught up on each other's lives and had some good laughs.  I hadn't told her about my book yet because I was waiting until it was in more of a finished state so I could share some pages with her before sending it to anyone else.

As the phone call was winding down Wendy said something that stunned me.  "I've written a book."  My talented sister has written a book about her experience with breast cancer.  Neither of us knew that the other was working on a book, neither of us knew that the other had a desire to write a book.

You tell me: nature or nurture?

Weekend Wrap-up

With Gerry away for the weekend, the girls (Chelsea and Maya) and I have been enjoying some girl time. We've spent most of the weekend enjoying the sweet solace of silence. I'm convinced that for me, it's the best way to connect with God. It's only in the quiet that I can hear that still, small voice, that whisper that directs and guides me.

It's been a productive weekend.  As you can see by the picture I've got my memoir ready for the next round of revisions and rewrites. There is a huge sense of accomplishment as I look at a hard copy of this document that I've worked so long on. In hard copy form it seems more like a tangible piece of work that is one step closer to publication.

It's been a relaxing weekend as well.  I picked up some Sugar 'n Cream Twists yarn and I've started on a dishcloth.  It's something I can work on that calms me and allows me to justify time spent sitting still.  Last night we also enjoyed a Hallmark movie called The Note.

I'm finished work for the day and now I'm off to curl up with a quilt and see what I can find on the Hallmark Channel.

Oh yes, and if you haven't yet left a comment letting me know why you come back to My Own Velvet Room along with your demographic info, please do.  I'll be drawing a name from everyone who leaves a comment with this info on December 15.  The winner will receive their choice of books from the recent reviews on the Story Circle Book Reviews site.

C'mon don't be shy, let me know why you come back.  Whether it's your 2nd visit or your 254th visit (yes, that's how many posts I've done here) I want to know!

Mornings...and a request

I must confess that I do some of my best work between 3:00am and 6:00am.  Honestly, those quiet hours when I'm laying awake in bed often provide inspiration and ideas for projects I'm working on at work and at home. Mind you, those sleepless hours can often provide much frustration as I've written about previously!

Better still is the time I spend in the shower in the morning. Now, I don't want you to get a visual here (heaven forbid!) but the truth is that my mind works best first thing in the morning, and my first activity of the day is a shower. There is just something about that hot water and the movements I make by rote that puts me into right-brain mode.

This morning my mind is on some things going on at work and so the original inspiration I had hoped to come up with for this morning's post didn't happen. So, my good blogging friend Becky Lane who will be a panelist on the Finding Our Voices Online panel at February's Stories From the Heart V conference has allowed me to borrow one of her ideas.

We are doing some pre-work and trying to learn who is reading our blogs and why they keep reading.  So would you please leave a comment and let me know who you are (names aren't necessary, you can leave an anomymous comment if you would like).  Let me know your gender, age bracket, and any other demographic information you would feel comfortable including.  Then, and here's the good stuff, let me know why you keep coming back to My Own Velvet Room. 

To thank everyone who leaves a comment, on December 15 I will do a drawing for your choice of a book that has been reviewed recently on the Story Circle Book Review site!  Why December 15?  Because I may have more blog-related questions over the next week or so and I want to include everyone who answers all of my inquiring-minds-want-to-know questions.

So that's it!  Happy Wednesday, and let the comments begin!

A Short Life, Long Remembered

Last night I dreamed about Mom.  She's been gone for twenty-five years and it was bittersweet to see her face again like it was just yesterday when I saw her last.  We never lose that place in our hearts that our mom occupies. 

In the dream it was her birthday and we were getting ready for a big birthday celebration. In reality, I'm not aware of her ever having a big celebration in her honor.  She was a private woman, fun-loving in her own way.  She didn't share her thoughts and feelings openly; those few times I can remember doing so are like nuggets of gold in my memories.

She had simple dreams, never travelled far from home, and went without so her children could go with.  She wasn't a powerful career-woman and wasn't wealthy.  She married at eighteen, was widowed at fifty-three, and died at fifty-five.

Her life was all too short but the impression she left remains. I speak of her to my children often, though as time goes by their memory of her is fading.  I like to think that I am keeping her alive in their hearts by sharing stories and memories that will become a part of them as well.

One day, Lord willing, I will tell Makiya about the simple, loving woman who was her great-grandmother.

Lessons from the Knit Wit

I've enjoyed some quiet time knitting over the past couple of much-enjoyed holiday days and I've learned two things.

1.  Don't leave your knitting out where the dogs (or more specifically, Maya) can get at it.

2.  The practice of knitting, whether it is the rhythm of the process or just sitting quietly and relaxing, invites ideas for writing to come into one's mind.

I was up at 5:30 today and have spent much of the morning at the computer.  I'm deep into the second draft of my memoir today and it's flowing! Oh, what a feeling!

Never Say Never

I just did something that I swore I would never do.  I got up at 5:00 am to go shopping on Black Friday!  I'm the one who doesn't like crowds and for many years have refused to go to the mall on any weekend in December.  I do my Christmas shopping early, on weeknights, or online. 

Alas, in the massive bundle of flyers that came with our Thanksgiving morning newspaper was one for Kohl's that contained something that I've been planning to buy for someone at some point, and the mark down was enough to incite me to break my cardinal shopping rule.

So, there I was just before 6:00 this morning, circling the parking lot at Kohl's watching for those white backup lights that mean someone is about to pull out.  What a sweet sight when I managed to snag a place fairly close to the door!

Once inside, I was stunned by the line-up to pay for things.  They actually had a woman holding up a sign that said "end of line" to help shoppers.  Once I found the item I was looking for, I made a bee line to the end of the line, not even taking the time to browse.  I was a woman on a mission.  The line-up moved fairly quickly, and I was in and out in about 45 minutes. 

Now I'm thinking that perhaps some of my rigid rules could be relaxed a bit.  Maybe I'll do something radical like skydiving or bungee jumping next!  Or maybe not, I think I'll just head downstairs and do some knitting.

Twenty Years in the Making

Today I celebrated twenty years with the company that I work for.  Twenty years! 

In 1989 the record of the year was Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin, the cost of a US stamp was twenty-five cents, Lucille Ball died at age 87, and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded to Anne Tyler for Breathing Lessons.

I was a thirty-year old woman, my children were eleven and nine, and I was driven to move us forward into a life that, at that time, existed only in my mind.

I could never have fathomed the changes that would take place in the next twenty years.  I have changed careers, survived more than one company downsizing (Or rightsizing as they say now.  Yuck.), moved to Washington State, and watched the closure of the office in Canada where I first worked. 

The celebration was bitter-sweet for me in some ways.  Of all the great people I worked with when I started with this company only a handful remain, and only one with whom I still work.  In twenty years, one would expect there to have been retirements, and departures due to attrition, but the significant loss of co-workers due to the change in the economy and the business climate is a heart-breaking thing to ponder.

Don't get me wrong, I still work with a world-class group of individuals, but tonight my mind is on those I started out with twenty years ago in a tiny Business Systems department in Canada. 

My manager, Bob - He was an English man of integrity and grace who always did the right thing for his employees. Forced to retire, perhaps before he was ready.

Ray - an English curmudgeon of a man who frustrated me to no end at times.  Retired many years ago when he reached that age.

Ed - a man with a sense of humor and tales to tell from his childhood that kept us entertained many an afternoon.  Retired when he was ready.

Wanda - She is still my very best friend. We shared the best of times, and the worst of times over the years.  Retired.

Dan - Retired.  He had a nickname for everyone he came into contact with.  I was known as Linda Lou.

Barb - A behind-the-scenes girl who had a great sense of humor.  Once, when I left my pencil in her office she sent me an email telling me that she was holding it hostage and if I didn't do something-or-another she would take the lead out! Outsourced and then terminated due to changes in the company.

Norma - Retired, also perhaps before she was ready due to downsizing.  I bet she's square dancing and having a grand time these days.

Pete - The last man standing, a man of integrity and someone I consider a friend.  He, alone remains.

So today, I raise a glass to toast these who have crossed my path.  Each one has left an impression, each one is remembered with a smile on my face.

Good to be home.....

...well, kind of.  I have been home about an hour.  I miss these beautiful faces already!

Grandma's Evening

I am rushing around - my thoughts one step ahead of my steps.  Remember such-and-such, I remind myself. And with that I am hurrying downstairs to get something important.  Then back upstairs, my arms full of that such-and-such as well as a few other things that I meant to pick up.

My cell phone chimes and I look down at the number displayed on the front.  Realizing who is calling, I quickly pick up the phone.  Hello! I smile as I speak like an exited small child just before Christmas.  We speak, make plans, make notes, and say goodbye for the night. 

I'm back running again.  Into the closet where I stand looking at the hangers filled with clothing.  What to choose?  Then I chide myself for thinking, yet again, that I have nothing to wear.  I hurry back to the guest room where my suitcase lays open on the bed waiting for me to make a decision on what to take.  Back into the bathroom, thinking, pondering, planning.  What do I need to take? Which lotion should I pack?

Remember your passport.

Remember your itinerary.

Don't forget the GPS.

Is everything going to fit into that one piece of luggage, given that the other one is filled with other things meant for the babies that I love?

Such is the evening of a grandma on the night before she boards the plane to visit those she loves.  A daughter, a son-in-love, a son, a daughter-in-love and, most wonderful of all, a granddaughter and a grandson.

How will I sleep tonight with such anticipation running through my mind?  Doesn't matter.  Tomorrow I will hold my grandchildren!

An Empty Inbox

I have recently realized how much serenity there is to be found in an empty email inbox.  It's not uncommon for my inbox at work to contain a hundred or more unread messages during busy times.  As of this moment, my main personal email account has twenty-nine unread messages and there are ten more in other secondary email accounts I keep.

Sometimes, I must confess, I only have time to deal with those that are nearest the top.  I have my email sorted in order of receipt, with the most recently received ones at the top. It's quite possible for some messages to get buried as the unread messages pile up. There is a direct correlation to how many unread email messages I have and my stress level.

A few weeks ago I managed to get all of my inboxes to the point where all messages fit on one page, and the only ones that were saved were ones that I needed to do something with immediately.  What a sense of being in control I felt!  Each morning when I logged on, I was able to deal with new items as they came in, I felt relaxed and able to cope with anything.

Alas, the serenity was fleeting and I am once again at the point of being in email jail.  What was life like before the terms email and inbox controlled our life?  I'm guessing it was less stressful.

February in Texas

I booked my travel today.  In February I'm going to the SCN Stories from the Heart conference in Austin, Texas.  When it's dark and raining here in the Pacific Northwest, I'll be in in a warmer climate learning more about memoir with some incredible women.  I'm looking forward to it.

I wanted to introduce to a few women who will be participating on a panel with me called "Finding Our Voices Online".  Each of these women have been recipients of the SCN Star Blogger award, and if you haven't yet checked out their blogs, you better click right over and pay them a visit!

Nita Lou Bryant has two blogs, Cafe Nita Lou and Electric Nita Lou where she is sharing her adventures on an electric bicycle!

Rhonda Esakov writes at Rhonda's A "Musing'-ing Rambles.  She is shares some beautiful photographs of her gardens, is sometimes serious, sometimes thought-proviking, and if'you are looking for tax-tips for writers, it's the place to go.

You will find Kara Flathouse at Eskimo Kisses and Air Hugs.  Kara blog is choc-full of nuggets about her her faith, writing, family, home, garden, crafts, and her life in general.

Seasonality: The Common Sense Guide to Living the Good Life is where Becky Lane (also known as Hill Country Hippie) writes about living her own good life in the Texas Hill Country, including her very creative To Do lists.

The International Mom, Judy Miller is a mother of four beautiful children, a writer, and adoptive parent mentor.  Judy blog is a wonderful resource to anyone involved in adoption in any facet.

Becca Taylor, at Becca's Cyber Home also shares some beautiful photographs from her travel adventures and, in her words, "celebrates both the magical and the mundane".

What are your plans for early February?  If you have any interest at all in memoir then why don't you join me at Stories from the Heart V!

Ancestors and Descendents

Recently I heard someone say that not only are we descendents we are also ancestors.  I had to think about that for a minute when I first heard it before I understood what the speaker was saying.  We are the ancestors to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and all of those who will come after us. 

I know how much I treasure little snippets of the past like letters that Dad wrote to Mom when they were dating, an aunt's diary from when she was a child, recipes that my grandma used with little hand written notes on them.  I have to believe that my descendents will be interested in similar snippets of my life one day.

Becky has a great post on her blog called Seasonality about this topic. I agree with Becky and Susan Albert in believing that we all have a story to tell, and that there is someone, somewhere, sometime who will treasure those stories.

Do something special for your descendents and write your own stories.  It can be as simple as a few pages about your favorite teacher or best friend, or an entire book about your life.  Whatever you write, believe that your words will be treasured and that you are giving someone an opportunity to know you better.  What a wonderful gift!


I'm going to turn into one of those eccentric older ladies; all the signs are there. We were out and about shopping yesterday and I saw two must-have items for my retirement.

The first was a cloche felt hat at Macy's.  I feel absolutely in love with this hat, and I'm not a hat person!  I can see myself wearing this hat and a cotton dress on a hot summer afternoon out for a drive in a jalopy. Sounds crazy, but it has a certain appeal to me.  They have it in red, which would be perfect for someone attending a Red Hat Society function.  I won't be joining though.  I plan to enjoy my unscheduled days and embrace spontaneity wearing my black cloche felt hat.

The second item was a Vespa.  Gerry and I both liked these, and I can picture the both of us taking a quick trip to the grocery store on our matching Vespas.  Of course, I'd have to be wearing my cloche hat, and Gerry would be wearing his fedora.  Perhaps we would have a side car of some sort for Maya and Chelsea.

Shoot...if I'm having these thoughts now one can only imagine what I'll be developing a yen for when I'm eighty!

Message from Nature

Once again I find myself taking cues from nature.  Well, nature as portrayed in a modern neighborhood anyway.

In our neighborood in the summertime the yards are, for the most part, beautiful.  (Don't get me started on those occasional few who choose not to mow the grass and to let the weeds run rampant.  That's a tale for another day.)  Saturday mornings find the yards filled with homeowners cutting grass, deadheading flowers, pruning bushes, and other tasks that make a yard look cared for.  I enjoy taking walks and drives to look at what others are doing in their yards to get ideas for my own.  It's a busy time.

Around mid to late September, the activitiy begins to slow down.  Leaves begin to turn and before you know it, the same yards that were perfectly kept in the summer become littered with leaves and other autumn debris.  It is kind of comforting.  It is a message that it's okay to relax a bit, we don't have to be perfect in our yard care.  It's okay to go out every week or so and rake up the leaves.  It's even okay to wait until the trees have all finished shedding their leaves before going out and tidying up the yard.  In sort, it's a time to chill out.

I'm enjoying autumn this year.  Each windy blustery day is an opportunity to enjoy the blessing of a home that I love, the huge windows in my new office, an afternoon browsing in the mall, or other indoor activities like knitting!

What autumn activities are you enjoying right now?

November Challenges

It's November, and November is choc-full of writing opportunities and inspiration. 
For fiction writiers, there is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where participants write an entire novel during the month.  Not only am I not a novelist, but that sounds like way more pressure than I need in my life. 

Then thre is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) that invites bloggers to post every day during November.  Again, perhaps a bit daunting for some.

Recently, I learned about WNFiN (Write Nonfiction in November) and this one is something that I can get my arms around.  To participate in Write Nonfiction in November, all you have to do is start and finish one piece of nonfiction during November.  It can be an essay, the chapter of a book, a query letter, anything.  To participate all one has to do is make up his or her mind and get started.  There will be daily posts on the on the WNFiN website with information and tips for all writers. 

Come on and join me in the WNFiN challenge this month!

More from the Knit Wit

Well this knitting thing is actually turning out okay.  Once I finally figured out how to cast on, and spent way too much time figuring out how to actually knit a row and purl another, I've decided that this just might work out.

Knitting gives me an opportunity to sit quietly and calm my mind.  I can spend time listening to a TV program and not feel guilty for wasting time.  It also gives me a wonderful opportunity to let my mind wander.  Just this afternoon, while Gerry and the dogs were napping on the sofa, I made plans for Christmas gifts, prayed for family and friends, mentally worked on my memoir, all while knitting.  All in all, I'd say it was time well spent.

On another note, we were out shopping today and came across a Skechers shoe store.  We had never heard of them before, but we had an opportunity to each try a pair of Skechers Shape-Up's on.  I must say that they were the most comfortable shoes I've ever had on my feet.  We are thinking about getting a pair, but they are a bit pricey.  I'm wondering if any of my bloggy friends have heard of them, or even have a pair?

Knit Wit

I am trying to learn how to knit.  People have been telling me how relaxing that they find it, and goodness knows that I'm in the market for some relaxation techniques.

So, on Sunday afternoon I took a little trip to the store and picked up a learn-to-knit book, some needles and yarn.  Then I settled in for a hour or so of relaxation.  It was not to be.

Maybe it's just me, but those little diagrams in the book made very little sense to me.  I tried and tried, but couldn't understand what they were trying to tell me to do in order to cast on.

After a while, I put the book down and went to u-tube to see if there were any lessons on there.  (Isn't the internet wonderful?!)  I found a little lesson, watched it three times, and still didn't understand it.

So much for a Sunday afternoon of relaxation.

Well since then, I think I've managed to master casting on.  I think I have figured out the knit stitch, still working on the purl stitch.  The little sample piece I"m working on looks pretty rough - obviously this is going to take some practice.

Relaxing?  Not quite yet.

Elevator Woes

Writers sometimes refer to it as the "elevator synopsis". It is a concise summary of their book that they have prepared in advance. The reference to an elevator means that the description has to be short enough so that it could be used if the author was asked about his piece while in an elevator with someone (like an agent or publisher!).

I've been thinking about my own elevator synopsis for the memoir I am working on. I am finding that it's a good exercise to help me focus on why I'm writing, who I'm writing for, and what to include in the work.

I've also been thinking about an elevator synopsis for My Own Velvet Room. That seems to be a bit harder to come up with. Like many of us, my reason for blogging has changed and morphed into different facets during the time I've been here. To narrow all of that down to a concise sentence or two seems daunting.

My Own Velvet Room is where I share a bit about family, my experience as an adoptee, my ancestors, books I enjoy, my writing experiences. It's sometimes introspective, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, also contains the occasional rant. There isn't a single theme or focus, in fact it's quite eclectic in content.

To explain all that my blog is during an elevator ride, I would have to resort to pushing the buttons for all of the floors so that it would stop at each floor, thus prolonging the ride to the desired floor. Likely not the way to win friends.

I'll keep thinking about it, and I welcome any and all suggestions!